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Hornbuckle parent bids for collapsed platform Avalon

Embark Group understood to be among six parties expressing interesting in buying Avalon out of administration

Hornbuckle parent bids for collapsed platform Avalon

Embark Group, the company behind Sipp provider Hornbuckle, has placed a bid for collapsed platform Avalon.

Earlier this week New Model Adviser® revealed Avalon had applied for special administration after it lost a battle in the High Court against a claim expected to cost the platform provider at least £2 million.

New Model Adviser® understands Embark Group is one of six companies long-listed to buy Avalon by its administrators KPMG.

It is understood London-based investment company Cobens Capital Distribution and Sipp provider Intelligent Money also tabled bids for the platform provider. However, New Model Adviser® understands neither bid has been successful.

KPMG is expected to choose a buyer for Avalon tomorrow. The winning bid is expected to be in the region of £50,000 to £100,000.

New Model Adviser® understands Embark would keep Avalon as a standalone entity if its bid is successful in order to add an ISA business to its existing Sipp proposition.

Hornbuckle created Embark Group Limited as a new legal entity in January. The company said the name change was part of a plan to strike deals with more businesses, including advice firms, to expand its range of services.

Embark, Cobens and Intelligent Money all declined to comment.

The claim against Avalon revolved around former managing director Harry Kerr, who took fees from an entrepreneur called Michael Bennett to raise funding for investment projects.

According to the judge in the case, Kerr used his position of authority within Avalon to convince the claimant he was raising money from Chinese investors. In reality these investors did not exist.

Although Kerr did not inform anyone else at Avalon about this arrangement, the judge said his position of authority within the firm meant the claim could also include Avalon.

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